Sweden has been a full and voting member of the Antarctic Treaty and associated international agreements since 1984.
These agreements have led to the Antarctic continent being neutralised and demilitarised. A special environmental protocol specifies the activities that may be carried out there and on what terms. The mining of minerals is strictly forbidden, for example. In Sweden, the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat is the administrative agency responsible for Antarctic issues and it also coordinates and conducts polar expeditions.
In the Government Offices, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for coordination of Antarctic issues. An ambassador at the Office of Swedish Ambassadors Stationed in Stockholm leads Sweden's delegation in meetings of the Parties to the Antarctic Treaty and in meetings of the Parties to the Convention on Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
In 2005, for the first time, Sweden hosted the annual conference of the Parties to the Antarctic Treaty. The conference, which went on for two weeks, took place in Stockholm on 6-17 June. Approximately 300 delegates attended: government representatives, experts, researchers and observers, as well as representatives of international organisations and non-governmental organisations. At the meeting in Stockholm, the delegates successfully concluded many years of negotiations by agreeing on rules for liability in the event of environmental accidents in Antarctica (the "Stockholm Annex" to the Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty).